Top 5 countries to spend your retirement in
US brand strategy monitor BAV Consulting and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania surveyed 21,000 people in 80 countries across four continents and, on March 7, 2017, published a ranking of countries in which people most want to spend their retirement.
There is a mental link between leisure and resorts, and the top two countries are indeed nations with natural wonders, in the southern hemisphere. The survey reveals a desire to leave behind one’s technology-laden working life upon retirement and breathe in the Great Outdoors.
Number 5: Portugal
Spain’s neighbour, with delicious food and gentle seas
Portugal ranked 16th in the 2016 survey, but leapt nine places to fifth in 2017. Located on the Iberian Peninsula on the edge of the Eurasian land mass, Portugal is a hidden treasure whose popularity has risen in Europe. Its capital, Lisbon, is a city of hills to be enjoyed on scenic tram rides.
The Azulejo tile-clad architectural style is emblematic of Portugal, and exotic works of art are visible from the street. The colorful Pena National Palace in Sintra, a mixture of Gothic and Islamic architecture, is a World Heritage Site.
Portuguese cuisine is also noteworthy for its use of dried cod (bacalhau). It is easy to imagine living there healthily after retirement.
Other attractions are the year-round mild climate and some of the lowest prices in Europe.
The survey identified Portuguese people as especially friendly and kind. The official language is, of course, Portuguese, and it is often hard to make oneself understood in English, even in public places. Thus, it is probably the best destination for retired people who want a quiet life without little fuss.
Number 5: Canada
A selfie with a grizzly bear and limitless nature
Canada – the country with a maple leaf on its flag and the world’s second biggest land area. It is a member of the British Commonwealth and its capital city is Ottawa.
Canada’s main attraction is its abundance of nature. In addition, it prides itself on its peaceful society and the high level of its education and standard of living.
Its calm and friendly citizens have created an environment in which people of different nationalities can live in peace and harmony.
Healthcare is free for those covered by a state insurance scheme, and there is no inheritance tax or residence tax. Those who move there after retirement can obtain Canadian citizenship after three years.
Some people spend their working lives dreaming of a return to nature. Canada will more than fulfil that dream.
Number 3: Switzerland
Half of Swiss citizens do not want to move overseas
With its low taxes, Switzerland is the most popular country in other European countries. It is known for its high healthcare costs, but if you take out personal insurance and utilise it wisely, the daily burden is not high. To maintain healthcare at the world’s best level, healthcare costs outside the insurance system are high.
In Switzerland, there are many organic agricultural products, labelled “bio,” and product safety is among the highest in the world. From the viewpoint of being able to live a life that is kind to the planet, Switzerland provides an environment in which retired people can have complete peace of mind. Incidentally, more than half of the citizens of Switzerland want to spend their retirement in their own country.
There is good infrastructure, centered on the main cities, and it is possible to live a comfortable life there without worry. In addition, this is a health-conscious society and so retired people who want to spend a healthy retirement can relax. This is borne out by the fact that longevity is second only to Japan.
Number 2: Australia
――A friendly nation formed by many nationalities
Australia received a great deal of support in the survey because of its friendly national identity. When staying overseas, it is natural to want to mix with the locals and, in Australia (a nation formed by many nationalities) immigrants of different races mix naturally in the cities.
Queensland is warm all year round. With marine sports on the beach in the summer and skiing in the mountains in the winter, the state is paradise for retired people who want to continue to enjoy sport.
Australia is known for its high prices, but is appreciated for having English as mother tongue, a bright liberal image, and adequate healthcare. It is a country packed with places to visit for those who want to be busy again after they retire. You can certainly wonder at the marvels of nature.
Number 1 New Zealand
――Where one can be truly overwhelmed by the power of nature
New Zealand neighbors Australia, which has topped the list in past years. New Zealand also did will in 2016, coming in sixth place, but this year it jumped into the top spot. It is an island nation known as Australia’s neighbor, but many of those choosing it in the survey valued its friendly informal people.
It contains many World Heritage Sites and offers the opportunity to enjoy nature in all its abundance. However, the requirements when applying for a retirement visa are rather daunting. The state requires a certain level of investment, and this could be deemed a bit harsh for retired people with only a small amount of assets.
Nevertheless… walking among brilliant white glaciers…gazing at giant rock natural formations on the shore…life in New Zealand will deliver daily surprises and discoveries.
Thus, in the 2017 survey, Australia and New Zealand, both in the southern hemisphere, occupied first and second place, and Portugal, Europe’s hidden treasure, did very well. The top four places are taken by countries that are bywords for the beauty of nature. Overall, it seems that countries with adequate healthcare systems are appreciated.
After retirement, we have leisure time to spend. Which country would you decide to move to? With what kind of hopes and dreams? Some people are retiring early in their 50s and moving overseas, while plenty of others want to spend their retirement in their home country, where everything is familiar.
So…which country would you like to spend your retirement in? Wouldn’t it be a good idea to give some thought to this special time, which will be upon you all too soon?